What about “corn-free”?

This page is adapted from the post about why we don’t tag our recipes “corn-free.”

So most of you know by now, since I’ve (Denise) complained mightily, the whole corn allergy thing sucks. And some of you might have wondered why we haven’t added a corn-free tag to the recipes we’ve posted since the corn thing went down. The short answer is, it’s just too hard, and there’s too much cross-contamination for those who are super sensitive, and I can’t be responsible for that. The longer answer is a bit more complicated than that.

Since I got the positive scratch test, I’ve been researching how to deal with a corn allergy. And I’ve been in overdrive since I failed the corn challenge. Here’s the thing, corn is in everything and it’s not required to be labeled at all, and some people have reactions just to the cross contamination of other ingredients being processed in the same factory or mill, what it’s waxed or gassed or sprayed or washed with, or any other number of things. Here’s the list of corn derivatives. Check out this page Where’s the Corn in Foods? from the Corn Allergy Girl, where corn can be hiding in daily life in New to Corn Allergy from Corn Free Lifestyle, and a post about how corn gets into meat during processing and otherwise, Corn-tamination Series: Avoiding Corn in Meat again from the Corn Allergy Girl. I’m not even going to get into the medications, household products, personal care products or cleaning products issues. Furthermore, the cross contamination issues are huge for super sensitives and many people can’t handle products that I am still using at this point. Like fresh vegetables from the grocery store, because they’re waxed with a corn derived wax, or sprayed with ethylene gas. Also, many people have difficulty finding safe flours and oils even if there is no corn contained in the product, like sorghum flour or olive oil because of cross contamination in processing. And everyone seems to have a different level of sensitivity, with some people falling on the corn-lite side of the spectrum meaning they can tolerate more than most, and the super sensitives who may have only a few safe foods they can eat. If you’ve got a corn allergy, you might want to check out the Corn Allergy and Intolerance group on Facebook and/or Delphi Avoiding Corn forums to get advice about products and what others have had reactions to.

At this point, I’m simply not comfortable labeling a recipe corn-free unless it really is truly corn-free, and honestly, in our food supply at this current time, that’s damn near impossible. So basically that’s why you aren’t going to see a corn-free tag on our blog. My (Denise’s) recipes will not have any obvious corn ingredients, but since I can’t guarantee that the ingredients I’m using are safe for everyone with a corn allergy, we’re not going to tag recipes as corn-free. Also, since Mary Kate can eat corn, and her diet is limited enough, her recipes may still contain corn. So I guess what I’m saying is, do what’s right for you, and use safe ingredients you can tolerate. Be careful out there.